Director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) and producer Daljit DJ Parmar (Kung Fu Yoga) have launched Extraordinary Entertainment Limited 鼎趣影业, a production and finance company based in Beijing and Hong Kong. Parmar will serve as CEO and Harlin as Chief Creative Officer. The company will focus on developing international co-productions, as well as local language Chinese productions.
The company is backed by funding from strategic investors targeting the Chinese market, with a pipeline of $10-$50 million for theatrical feature films covering the action, adventure, sci-fi, and comedy genres, and new age premium scripted online television series. The outfit will also serve as a directing vehicle for Harlin, as well as a platform for top Chinese up-and-coming directors.
The first original film in development will be Solara, which Harlin is aimed to direct and produce with Parmar, from the writing team of Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (London Has Fallen, Expendables 3). Solara is a Chinese tentpole sci-fi epic adventure revolving around an international team who have to work together in order to save the earth from a global catastrophe which threatens the entire human existence.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with our combined experience in China matched with our shared global vision to focus on the tremendous opportunity to develop home-grown IP across all platforms for the China market. Solara is an exciting example where we have developed a tentpole film catered for China with the potential to have success globally,” said Extraordinary Entertainment Limited CEO Daljit DJ Parmar. “We believe that we will cater to the growing demand from Chinese audiences for universal stories that are commercial and explore cultural diversity promoting intercultural understanding. With the recent success of international films at the Chinese box office, we are excited to continue developing and acquiring global IP for China.”
Extraordinary Entertainment Limited CCO Renny Harlin added: “My last four years working in China, have been some of the most inspiring and productive of my career. I’m excited to now fulfill my dream of expanding into developing and producing a variety of movies and TV in China, partnered with my friend, DJ Parmar, who brings in his unparalleled passion and expertise in Chinese co-productions. We want to create top quality entertainment for a Chinese audience and reach out to the international market with co-productions that authentically portray the Chinese spirit, heart, and soul. As our first original project, we are excited to be developing Solara with Creighton and Katrin. Their creative vision for this epic sci-fi adventure is something completely new for the Chinese market.”
“Renny and DJ have truly immersed themselves within China and have both cultivated a broad international audience. We are confident that Extraordinary Entertainment will excel in this exciting new chapter for cross-border productions,” said UTA Head of Asian Business Development Max Michael. “As UTA has grown its business in Asia, Renny has continued to be a consummate example of western talent finding success in the Asian marketplace, and we look forward to help guide this new partnership.”
Harlin recently directed Skiptrace, starring Jackie Chan, which crossed over $137 million in China alone, and is currently in post-production on one of the all-time biggest Chinese video game IPs, The Legend of The Ancient Sword for Alibaba Pictures, as well as the action thriller Bodies at Rest for Wanda Pictures. He is best known for directing the iconic Die Hard 2 starring Bruce Willis, Academy Award nominated Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone, Deep Blue Sea, and the Samuel L. Jackson and Geena Davis starrer The Long Kiss Goodnight. Among his many credits is Academy Award-nominated Rambling Rose, which earned him an Independent Spirit Award for the Best Independent Movie of the Year. Harlin has spent the last four years living in Beijing full time, immersed in the culture and forming a keen understanding of the Chinese market.
Parmar spent the last three years living in Beijing serving as the Vice President of International at Shinework Pictures, where he was part of the founding team behind the leading China co-production film company. He served as an executive producer on Kung Fu Yoga starring Jackie Chan, which grossed over $250 million worldwide, and the China-Kazakh co-production Composer which will release theatrically later in this year.